Struggling Redskins fall to 3-6; time to focus on the future


November 15, 2011
Ceci Ferrara
Sports Writer
Sports Insider

For the fifth straight time since their bye week, the Redskins have walked off the field without a win. They have quickly sunk from the No. 1 team in the division to a tie for last place, sharing a record with the Eagles who were once 1-4. Their latest loss, a 20-9 defeat on the road, was especially embarrassing as it came against the 1-7 Miami Dolphins who were considered an easy win for Washington just a few weeks ago.

It’s been a heartbreaking skid for the team who made big promises during the pre-season, and showed big promise in their first few games. What went wrong and who’s to blame are easy questions with complex answers. It’s hard to believe that the No. 2 most profitable organization in the NFL (second only to the Dallas Cowboys) has been unable to make an impact in the league for more than a decade. They haven’t advanced to the playoffs since 2007, the same year they last had a winning record (9-7).

In those four years, they’ve gone through three head coaches (Joe Gibbs, Jim Zorn and the current coach, Mike Shanahan) four starting quarterbacks (Jason Campbell, Donovan McNabb, and now the interchangeable John Beck/Rex Grossman) and a revolving door of high profile players who didn’t pan out. Albert Haynesworth, anyone?

It’s hard not to blame Dan Synder, as he insists on being in charge despite his complete lack of football knowledge. But then there’s the Shanahans. Mike, the head coach, promised to fix up the Skins when he rode into town two years ago. He’s done nothing to draft a suitable quarterback or build an offense around its aging stars. There’s also Kyle, the offensive coordinator who seems unable to run effective or imaginative plays. Sorry Kyle, you can’t blame McNabb anymore.

While (Mike) Shanahan may have a method to his madness of flip flopping between quarterbacks this season, the fact remains that the Redskins are unable to score points and win games. Their cornerstone players — Chris Cooley, Santana Moss — are aging, injured, and may not be around next season. It’s time for the Redskins to focus and cultivate young talent like Ryan Torain, Roy Helu and Ryan Kerrigan and build around them. Otherwise, they’re just going to stay stuck in last place.

NBA lockout: Moving to court

The NBA players have rejected the ultimatum of league commissioner David Stern to reach a labor agreement on Monday and have begun to disband. This means that the lockout will now go beyond negotiations and into court. The players are set to file an anti-trust lawsuit against the owners, and the 2011-12 season seems increasingly less likely.

In an ESPN interview on Monday, Stern seemed to believe the lawsuit was just a way for the players to scare the owners into giving them what they want. “It’s just a big charade. To do it now, the union is ratcheting up, I guess, to see if they can scare the NBA owners or something. That’s not happening,” he says.

But player union vice president Maurice Evans believed it was the right move, even if it means there is no basketball this year. He admitted, “We understand the consequences of potentially missing the season; we understand the consequences that players could potentially face if things don’t go our way, but it’s a risk worth taking. It’s the right move to do.”


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